<- Home <- Arhive <- Vol. 25, Issue 4, December 2017

Rom J Leg Med25(4)369-372(2017)
© Romanian Society of Legal Medicine

Body length estimation during the post mortem interval: preliminary study

D. Ferorelli, A. Dell’Erba, B. Solarino

Abstract: Purpose. Body height represents an essential parameter in forensic cases. Moreover, the evaluation of stature could be helpful also in malpractice lawsuits. The reliability of cadaver length can be influenced by several factors and the difficulties in obtaining data upon precise living stature are well-known.
Methods. We prospectively evaluated 100 cadavers. The cadavers were admitted to the mortuary within 2 hours of death. The body length was measured using a portable stadiometer, in three different post-mortem intervals: within the first 2 hours (T0), at 4-6 hours (T1) and after 20-24 hours (T2). Results. Showed that at T1 there was a lengthening of the cadaver by almost 1 cm while there was a small decrease in the following hours. Thus, we can state that nearly 24 hours postmortem cadaver length increases slightly (0.6 cm) from the measurement taken 2 hours postmortem, and this is very close to the estimated living height.
Conclusion. Variation of body size during post mortem interval has not been fully explored despite its important implication in forensics. The findings here observed, even considering the limitation exposed in the study, do not support the theory that there is a great difference in cadaver stature postmortem.
Keywords: Living stature, cadaver length, postmortem interval, portable stadiometer.

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